Harvest and Store Rosemary

IMG_8931 - CopyWhen you harvest  rosemary you will need a pair of scissors or gardening shears as the plant will get woody the further down you cut.

We like to use rosemary fresh when possible as it is a great companion for potatoes, turkey, chicken and pork.    If you clip the part of the rosemary plant where the stem is green (not woody), you can keep it for a few days in a glass of water on the counter.  You can also store the stem of rosemary in a plastic bag or container in the refrigerator for about one week.

Roast Chicken, Olive Oil and Rosemary
Roast Chicken, Olive Oil and Rosemary

You can dry rosemary by bundling some stems with a ribbon and hanging them upside down on an herb drying rack.  After the rosemary leaves start falling off the stem, it is time to store them.  At this point, you will want to take them off the stem and grind/chop them and store them in a jar with your other spices.

Another option is to freeze rosemary in a medium.  You should blanch it first by putting the stem of rosemary in boiling water for two seconds and then in ice cold water to help the leaves retain their green color.  Next you will take the leaves off the stem and chop them.  Then add a medium such as water, broth or butter.  If you use the herb cube trays that we discussed the other day, then you will do one of the following:

1) Mix the chopped rosemary with softened butter in a bowl and then put the mix in the herb cube tray, or

2) Put up to 2 tablespoons of rosemary in each cube and then fill each cube with 1 1/2 tablespoons of water or chicken, beef or vegetable broth or

3) Puree the the chopped rosemary with some liquid in a food processor by pulsing it, put up to 2 tablespoons of the pureed rosemary in each cube and then fill each cube with 1 1/2 tablespoons of oil.

The final step is to freeze the herb cube trays.  When the cubes are frozen then you can move them to a freezer bag or container for storage.  Don’t forget to label what you froze.

If you didn’t get a chance to see the prior post on how to sow and grow rosemary, please check it out.